Since the days of Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first president, and all other leaders, we have heard or read about them talk of Ghana being rich. They have also spoken highly of how they intend to make the nation prosperous, great and strong! But I ask, are we great and strong?
When a nation is great and strong, one of the evidence will be a better standard of living of its people; meaning its economy is functioning well and poverty levels are low! Poverty, majorly in my view is the lack of access to services or the ineffective delivery of services leading to inadequate sanitation inadequate safe drinking water, inadequate public roads and transport, inadequate solid waste management, supply of electricity and health facilities, inadequate employment and income, inadequate access to shelter and education as well as access to basic food among others.
Do we as a people experience these inadequacies in our daily social engagements? One may ask, what are the causes of these inadequacies? Lack or absence of sound policies, inadequate institutional capacities, lack of funds, and I mean money, weak leadership, lack of effective planning and implementation and above all greed and corruption as well as the tendency of the privileged to dominate others.
In his lifetime, President Nelson Mandela admonished that “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. It is man-made and it can be overcomed and eradicated by actions of human beings. As a nation is it not about time we reflectively and consciously face the facts about ourselves, assess whether someway, somehow we have missed the right path in making our nation what we aspired it to be?
Sometimes, like Chimamanda Ngozi, a Nigerian writer once posited that the hardest truths are those we have to tell ourselves. It is hard to tell ourselves the truth about our failures, our fragilities, and our uncertainties. It is hard to tell ourselves that maybe we have not done the best that we can. It is time to tell ourselves that the only positive thing to do is to overcome our handicaps and if necessary reverse the effects they have had upon us.